Category Archives: Parasol

August Visit to Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens…

between scorching hot summer temperatures and all of the upheaval with our home improvements it had been four weeks since we last visited the aquatic gardensMagpie's Nest Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens wildlife

instead of a packed parking lot like at the end of July we were one of just a handful of visitors bright and early on Sunday…Magpie's Nest Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens August Panorama

even though there were fewer blooms than earlier in the summer the lotuses (loti) did not disappoint standing tall in the morning light with pearls of dew sparkling like diamonds…

Magpie's Nest Morning dew on lotus leavesthere were lots of handsome lotus pods with their rattly black seeds…Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Lotus seed heads

and a fair number of fresh buds too…Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Loti all stages

the bees seemed extra busy…Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Bees

this visit the tropical ponds really captured my attention…Magpie's Nest Tropical lily pond

the plants in these ponds have to be overwintered in greenhouses each year since they are not natives…Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Victorian water lily in bloom

we were lucky to catch the big Victoria amazonica water lily in bloom as it only opens when it is cooler in the mornings and closes in the midday heat…Magpie's Nest Fred on Head water bottle

in the photo above you get an idea of how tall the loti are this time of year… surpassing Mr Magpie’s 6 foot 7 inches (measurement INCLUDES the FRED water bottle on his head)…

Magpie's Nest Praying Mantis and Dragonfly

each visit to this national park is a delight with beauty and wonder at every turn (this was our fourth visit this summer)…Magpie's Nest early morning loti

with dew soaked shoes we headed back to Virginia by way of PAUL’s  and had a yummy bite to eat…Magpie's Nest PAULs Tysons 11

joining everyone over at Elizabeth’s Altered Book Lover for T Stands for TuesdayMagpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz golden lotus painted background

and offering another digital piece combining my photo and artwork for Art Journal Journey’s NATURE’S WONDERS theme ~♥~ thank you for your visit

the beating of her he♥rt…

so much of what I create comes from scraps of this and that handy on my work table…

Magpie's Nest Patty szymkowicz Affection

it was a nice surprise to come across a piece of a copy of my heart rhythm from an electrocardiogram done years ago…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz changedthe lady with her parasol is a TAP transfer on tea bag paper…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz the beating of my heartjoining Art Journal Journey’s “If Music Be the Food of Love” where there is an incredible amount of creativity…

“We know so little of the why, what the universe is, what infinity is. The veil around us is very fragile.” -Conor McPherson

 

the sea was right outside her window…

September at Art Journal Journey and the theme is THROUGH MY WINDOW … using an image from a catalog I got out one of the gesso magazine journals I made and got busy…

Magpie's Nest the sea in progress

I have been wanting to play with watercolors ever since I picked up this inexpensive set with a coupon … perhaps it was the lightly gessoed background but I really liked how the paints moved around with the addition of each layer being mindful to not over work the pages

Magpie's Nest watercolors

the lighthouse, sea oats and clouds were the extent of my sketching comfort zone

Magpie's Nest the sea in progress (2)

the shells are stickers…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz pages with possibilities

I decided to add words digitally until I decide on how I will proceed on the left side of this spread…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz the sea outside her window

sunshine of life…

this past weekend was filled with enjoying nature and especially  flowers which is something I never get tired of…

Magpie's Nest Summer of Sunflowers Burnside Farmson Sunday we visited a pick your own flower farm

Magpie's Nest Burnside Farm Retailand were especially taken with the sunflowers (they planted 25 different varieties that will bloom on and off for about four weeks) …

Magpie's Nest Burnside Farms Welcomewe brought the traveling tea cup along and placed it in front of the beautiful Gladiolus bed…

Magpie's Nest Sunflower field Burnside Farmswhen I zoomed in on one of the rows of sunflowers I could not resist snapping a photo of a little girl enjoying the blooms…

Magpie's Nest Four Honey Bees

Burnside Farms supports pollinator habitats which includes endangered Monarch butterflies…

Burnside Farms supports pollinator habitats

there is something about sunflowers that always makes me smile…

Magpie's Nest Traveling T Cup

speaking of things that put a smile on your face… 

Karla's package

a surprise package from Karla arrived traveling all the way from Brazil…

Gifts from Karla in Brasil

Karla’s thoughtful gifts were a delight to open and I could feel her kindness and friendship from across the miles…

Magpie's Nest Friends Sunflower and Bee

wishing each of you a Happy T Day along with everyone over at Elizabeth’s Altered Book Lover…

Magpie's Nest Sunflower Field Tea pot and cup

***in keeping with the spirit of sharing I wanted to direct you to Seth Apter’s celebration of 8 years of blogging and a chance to be a very lucky winner of his generous giveaway here***

the empty nest…

in a previous post I mentioned that wrens had moved in behind the fern in the corner of our covered porch (turns out it was a very smart choice with all of the summer showers we had on and off during their nesting time)…

Magpie's Nest Wrens nested on backporch

during our son’s visit home from Colorado the wrens activity reached a peak and just when I thought I couldn’t take the sweet chirping any longer they moved out without us ever getting a look at the young ones…

Magpie's Nest Nature in our garden

our back porch acted like an echo chamber for Mr and Mrs Wren as they played tag team diligently feeding and cleaning out the nest and chirping all the while (wrens do sing some of the sweetest songs and boy were they busy!!!)…

Magpie's Nest Blue Moon made by Jim

and just like that it all went quiet and they were gone leaving behind their tidy empty nest…

Magpie's Nest Wren's empty nest

our son made the most of his visit getting to meet up with friends and family… attending a music festival on his birthday and camping out at a favorite beach for a week…

Magpie's Nest Colin enjoying the lotus gardens

we were very happy to have a perfect summer day (not too hot with low humidity) to visit the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens with him as he’d never been before

Magpie's Nest our son the merry prankster

his good sense of humor had us laughing as he posed with my parasol…

Magpie's Nest the empty nest

and just like that his two and a half week visit was over and he flew back to his mountain home in Colorado leaving us with a quiet house again…

Magpie's Nest Jim Szymkowicz T Time

here’s wishing you a Happy T Day along with everyone over at Elizabeth’s Altered Book Lover

Travel makes one modest…

before our trip last month when I should have/could have been packing I played with my tea cup art journal adding this page using one of my gelli prints as the background…

Magpie's Nest Ocean blue (1)bits of napkin and a postage stamp from my collection…

Magpie's Nest Ocean blue (2)

created my art journal page full of anticipation…

Magpie's Nest Ocean blue

little did I know then just how blue and stunning the water … sky and beaches of Turks & Caicos would be…

Magpie's Nest TCI sea fan

I printed out one of the photos that Mr Magpie took of me with my traveling parasol on a secluded beach on Middle Caicos Island

Travel makes one modest...

adding highlights and layers that are a bit tricky to show…

Travel makes one modest... (2)

using various acrylic paints and pens for the layers (including a little aqua gelato)…

Travel makes one modest... (1)

a favorite quote from Gustave Flaubert “Travel makes one modest, you see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.” speaks for me…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Travel makes one modest

More Turks & Caicos Island T …

Magpie's Nest North and Middle Caicos Islands

Mr Magpie experienced his first ever driving on the left side of the road (TCI is a British Territory even though they use American currency…let’s just say he was glad there were very few vehicles on the road and just a couple of circles)…

Ferry from Provo to North Caicos

it was a short ferry ride from the island of Providenciales where we were staying to North Caicos Island where we rented a car (make that an old beat up Jeep with a great Caribbean music mixed CD to carry us along the rough and ready roads)…

Magpie's Nest North & Middle Caicos Islands

there is a causeway between North Caicos (population approx 1,400) and Middle Caicos (population approx 275) which led us to some beautiful secluded places…

Magpie's Nest Daniels Cafe Middle Caicos

we enjoyed a tasty lunch of fresh red snapper at Daniel’s Cafe By The Sea (the owner Daniel and his son are really nice and friendly)…

Magpie's Nest one flamingo TCI

we had hoped to see some of the many flamingos that are drawn to this area… in the end we were grateful to see this lone ONE…

Bambarra Beach treasures

impulse sent us down a road to a wonderful spot called Bambarra Beach named after the local rum

Bambarra Beach Middle Caicos Island

we spent a fair bit of time relaxing in the shade and combing the beach for treasures snapping oodles of photos with our traveling tea cup and parasol (those sea fans were really tempting me…happy to have lots of photos at least)…

Magpie's Nest Platico Point Middle Caicos

from there we took a narrow road that ran parallel to the water and came upon a rusty barge and equipment that we later found out were leftover from a failed attempt at making a cargo port (aqua and rust are such a wonderful color combo!!!)…

Turks & Caicos Islands Middle Caicos

our next stop was recommended by a friend and wowee was it ever magical there…

Middle and North Caicos map

since this is getting a bit long I will save that for another day…

Bambarra Beach cup of sea fan tea

(if you’d like a closer look at any of the photos you can click on them)

here’s wishing you a very happy T day along with everyone over at Elizabeth’s Altered Book Lover…

Breathe in…

Breathe Instill inspired by Birgit’s Art Journal Journey’s Less is More” challenge I got busy in my spiral bound journal gluing pages together and adding a light coat of white gesso…

Breathe In (3)

another special Renaissance image paired with a lotus blossom hat…

Breathe In (4)

along with another lotus photograph we took at the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens added to a page with many layers of different kinds of paint and colored pencil…

Breathe In (1)

my tea mug holds a good two cups worth of tea which kept me company while I doodled and scratched in some shadows and finishing touches…

Breathe In (5)

I had most of this blog post ready to post but we had to make an emergency trip to California on 13 September (approximately 2,500 miles/4,023 km

Sonoma Coast State Park CA

to be with our eldest son (who is doing much better nowand there was hardly any time to be plugged in while we traveled…

Golden Gate Bridge SF CA 18 Sept 13

we did manage to walk back and forth across the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco which is something we had always wanted to do…

Russian River Pacific Ocean Jenner CA

hoping you are well

Longwood Gardens and The Traveling Tea Cup…

Longwood Gardens 1the day before we recently visited Chanticleer Gardens we toured the famous Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania (since Chanticleer was much smaller and we took a few less photos I shared that visit with you first for last week’s T on Tuesday)…

Longwood Gardens Italian Gardens

we made a day of it taking our time even including the Italian Water Garden Insider Tour which was very informative

Longwood Gardens May 2013

we almost visited Longwood several years ago but it was a hot and humid day and we decided in the gift shop that we could not do the gardens justice so we saved it for another time…

Longwood Bloom Sampler

good things are indeed worth waiting for…

Longwood Gardens overlook to Italian Gardens

this day was a bit overcast with light showers now and then along with bursts of bright sunshine…

Longwood Gardens Parasol Reflection

lucky for me the paper parasol my friend Susan brought back from China is waterproof…

Longwood Gardens Wisteria Sampler

that pretty parasol has really served me well on sunny days and rainy ones too (to our great delight Pennsylvania was a good two weeks behind our Virginia gardens so we got a replay of fabulous Wisteria blooms!)…

Longwood Gardens TopiaryLongwood Gardens is quite a lot to take in with over 1,077 acres (4.2 km²) of gorgeousness to enjoy…

Magpie's Nest Traveling Tea Cup at Longwood

it was fun having our traveling teacup along…

Longwood Peirce-du Pont house atrium

I know it looks like I have shared quite a lot here but this is only scratching the surface of this beautiful place …

Longwood Fountain Garden

we heated up our camera that day clicking away …

Longwood base of wishing well

so glad you stopped by today …

Amish or Mennonite Ladies taking a lunch break at Longwood

I am joining Elizabeth and Bleubeard for Tea on Tuesday…

Biltmore Garden Tea

our recent getaway to Asheville, North Carolina

(all thanks to generous and kind friends for letting us stay in their beautiful Asheville home!!!)

would not have been complete without a visit to the National Historic Landmark Biltmore Estate  built during the years 1889-1895 by America’s leading architect of that time, Richard Morris Hunt

 still known as America’s largest home the house covers 4 acres, totaling 175,000 square feet with 250 rooms which includes 35 guest and family rooms, 43 bathrooms, 65 fireplaces, and 3 kitchens….

    George W. Vanderbilt worked with the best architects and craftsmen to build a grand escape for family and friends…

inspired by French chateaus but all made in America with gargoyles and all…

no one has lived in the house since the 1950’s but it is still family owned…

we got a two day ticket and spent an entire day in the gardens  tootling around just a small portion of the 8,000 acres…

on the second day we took a really nice audio tour of the inside of the house which gave insight into what it was like to live and work at Biltmore…

the fact that photography was not permitted inside the house proved to be a nice break as I can get a little crazy snapping photos even though it is something I always enjoy…

we did bring the traveling tea cup along and my pretty parasol which gave welcome shade from the sparkling sun…

the Blue Ridge Mountains make a most beautiful backyard and you may find it of interest to read a little bit about the strides in forestry that Vanderbilt started with his vision here

 the Italian Garden with its enchanting lily pools kept calling us back again and again…

it is worth noting that Frederick Law Olmsted, the founder of American landscape architecture, also designed Central Park in NYC and the US Capitol in Washington DC to name just a few of his many accomplishments…

he considered Biltmore his crowning achievement…

it was such a lovely getaway in so many ways…

thank you again Lisa    OXO

next week I have an Asheville “Trash” Tea planned to share with you…

tea from far away…

recently I received some lovely gifts from a very thoughtful and sweet friend whose plants I was minding while she traveled across the globe to Korea and China…

gorgeous hanji which is handmade Korean paper…

I have heard about the health properties and goodness in Pu’er Tea but I have never seen or tasted any tea quite like this before…

you know I swooned over the wrappers too…

I carefully followed the instructions to enjoy my cup of exotic tea…

pouring off the first cup of water to rinse the tea…

then I got to savor the rich full bodied and not at all bitter taste which is a tip I will use in the future for brewing green tea…

adding water again and again with no need for cream or sweetener…

ummm…

another lovely surprise from sweet Susan was THE most beautiful and delicate paper parasol in a pretty hand stitched fabric carrying case…

extra special because other parasols I have are not waterproof or this special…

each time I use my pretty Wisteria parasol I will be imagining far off places and the journey it took to reach me with special thanks to such a thoughtful friend…

Kimmie has the list of other Tea on Tuesday bloggers here...

Susan has joined in for tea today too…

“If you are cold, tea will warm you.  If you are too heated, it will cool you.  If you are depressed, it will cheer you.  If you are excited, it will calm you.”  ~Gladstone, 1865

tea and paper parasols

fun how one thing leads to another … and another here in the land of blog … recently Jean from Bluebirds Living in the Meadow did a lovely parasol blog post (she even had her blue parasol as a blog header for an instant)

I have a thing for Asian parasols … and have for many years now

parasol sampler

the plain one on the left is waiting to be decorated

PMS-Mrytle-Beach

on a very hot muggy day a couple of years ago at the spectacular Brookgreen Gardens on Murells Inlet in South Carolina

Square-closeup

my square parasol helped give about ten degrees of coolness with its shade

Fall-Parasol

a really interesting link to sand art recently from Margaret of Alice and Camilla,  led me to this wonderful umbrella art installation link

DSC05238

be sure and visit Kimmie for links to all of the lovely tea Tuesday posts